Stretching is extremely important for all badminton players – or all people in general. Stretching is commonly overlooked – people often rather skip straight to playing the sport so they can have more fun. However, the lack of stretching can lead to injuries or other problems. In this post, I will explore the general benefits of stretching and different stretching exercises that badminton players should do! I hope that reading this post will help convince you to routinely stretch (even when you aren’t playing)!
Benefits of Stretching
There are many different benefits of stretching for athletes of all levels. Let’s take a look at a few here:
Relieve Muscle Soreness
This is the primary reason why I stretch! We have all had those training sessions where our legs feel like jello and that every single step causes muscle pain throughout your body. Stretching can help relieve this muscle soreness and allow you to recover from this soreness faster, letting you get back to your top shape sooner. If you go through these tough training sessions and do not stretch afterwards, your soreness may linger much longer than it would if you did stretch.
Stretching often also can reduce injuries. Many times if you do not thoroughly stretch out your muscles and joints prior to a training session, you may be at risk of pulling a muscle if you start with too high of intensity. You may also risk many joint injuries, like in your ankles, if you don’t stretch out your joints and keep them warm. Stretching often gives you a sort of buffer from too many injuries.
Finally, stretching improves your flexibility and range of motion. Badminton players in particular need a lot of range of motion in their lower bodies, so that they are able to do deep lunges to different parts of the court. If you are too stiff, it is extremely hard to make these long, stretching motions to get where you want to be. Additionally, like I mentioned above, going further than you are used to could also be a potential cause of injuries.
Stretches for Badminton Players
Here are a few of my favorite stretches to help my sore muscles recover and increase my range of motion.
The glute is one of the most important muscles to help you do deep lunges to recover shots. This video below shows one variation of a glute stretch that you can do anywhere.
Hamstring Stretch (Touching your toes)
Hamstring stretches help you stay flexible and loose, while making sure that you do not easily pull any of your muscles. Here is a variety of different hamstring exercises that you should be doing.
Staying light on your feet and on your toes is important to move quickly in badminton. Check out a few calf stretch exercises in this video here.
Having a flexible back helps you bend over and dive to each of the shots without pain. Many shots require you to twist your back as well (such as a smash) to generate more power. This is a list of different stretches that will help with your back pain.
Upper Body Stretches
Most of the stretches prior to this section talked about different lower body stretches. The lower body is extremely important as the foundation of badminton relies on your movements. For upper body stretches, I tend to only stretch parts that are extremely sore or lack general mobility. For me, this is my shoulders. For others, this may be a group of different muscles. This is a video that I find useful when looking to stretch different parts of my upper body.
When to Stretch?
All the mentioned stretches should be done after your training sessions or on your off days to help you recover. Static stretches like these are good for recovery and injury prevention, but not good prior to sessions. Before sessions, you should work on your mobility and getting your body temperature up. If you are interested in learning more about different warmup exercises and routines, you can read more about upper body mobility and lower body mobility in my posts here!
Incorporate this into your routine!
Try your best to do some sort of stretching every day. If every day is too often to begin with, try to do it at least every week. Hopefully, in time, you will be able to do this routinely and begin to see the benefits of stretching. If you are interested in any more conditioning clips or badminton training videos, please check out the full length videos on my YouTube channel! These are all drills that I go through weekly to improve my current badminton game and you can all do the same to improve your games as well! Thank you again for reading and see you all in the next post.